html NuSTAR


Artist concept of Nustar in orbit

The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array Mission (NuSTAR) is an X-ray mission with the first focusing optics for hard X-rays (above 10 keV).NuStar is led by Caltech and managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. It was launched on June 13, 2012 from a Pegasus XL rocket near the Kwajalein Atoll, and placed in a low-inclination low-Earth orbit. Initially deployed for a two year mission, it continues to collect data.

Mission Characteristics

* Lifetime : July 2012–present
* Energy Range : 3–79 keV
* Special Features : the first hard X-ray focusing optics at higher X-ray energies.
* Payload :
  • Two coalined Conical Wolter-I mirrors focusing X-ray onto two Focal Plane Module Detectors (FPMA an FPMB).
    • The mirrors consists of 133 concentric conical multi-layer mirror shells. The mirror shells are coated with Pt/SiC and W/Si multilayers atop thin sheets of flexible glass, with graphite spacers between nested layers. They are mounted on a mast that was extented in space to provide a focal lenght of 10 m. A Metrology system of two lasers on the optics end that are pointed at three light-sensing detectors at the detector end of the telescope.
      Angular resolution: 58" (HPD), 18" (FWHM)
      FoV (50% resp.): 10' at 10 keV, 6' at 68 keV

    • The FPM detectors are Cadium-Zinc-Telluride (CdZnTe) rectangular crystals, 20 x 20 x 2 mm in size, divided into 32 x 32 gridded arrays of pixels. The detector privides an energy Resolution (FWHM): 400 eV at 10 keV, 900 eV at 68 keV
      The detectors are surrounded by Cesiun Iodide (CsI) crystals as active anti-coincidence detectors to register and reject background from high energy photons and cosmic rays entering the detector from off-axis directions.
* Science Highlights:
  • conducted a survey of black holes, monitor the mechanisms of their growth, and the radiation from infalling matter
  • study processes at the core of jet structures around super-massive black holes
  • map remnants of recent stellar explosions (novae, supernovae, and hypernovae)
  • study compact stellar remnants (black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarf stars)
  • provide insight into the solar corona and giant flares
* Archive: HEASARC hosts Event data , products and catalogs.
[NuSTAR at HEASARC] [NuSTAR at CalTech]

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Page authors: Lorella Angelini Jesse Allen
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Last modified: Thursday, 24-Sep-2020 17:21:49 EDT